Wednesday, September 07, 2005


FEMA head, Mr. Brown Nose, explaining Bush's plans for the elderly. Cartoon by Elaine Supkis Meinel

By Elaine Supkis Meinel

For the last year or so, Bush and his band of robbers, after decimating our Social Security funds by running up over $2 trillion in new debts, have been trying to stampede us into destroying the entire institution itself. Even as thousands, yes, thousands of elderly were literally drowning to death, he was in Arizona, laughing and trying to get some rich, upperclass retirees living in a private golf course gated community to support killing SS.

Here is the story of one such nursing home. If you get nightmares, don't read any further. I often have had nightmares of silently or while screaming winds blow, the water steadily rising as I vainly try to escape by climbing the furniture and then the curtains...well. This story isn't a dream at all. It is real.
Art by Elaine Meinel Supkis

From the NYT:
St. Rita's nursing home whispers this story.

Ricky Melerine, a St. Bernard Parish councilman, said the water in his area rose at least three feet from 10 to 10:15 that Monday morning. And it rose faster still after that.

Ronald Nunez, a local resident, said several men tried to save St. Rita's residents by floating some out on mattresses. Others were able to walk and float on their own to a nearby school, Mr. Nunez said.

And someone had time to put up a fight against the tide.

Nails were pounded through a table. Dressers were thrown against windows. Several electric wheelchairs were gathered near the front entrance, perhaps in hopes of evacuation. They simply ran out of time.

There are signs in the home that the water rose to the roof. Three inches of muck still cover the floors. Tadpoles wriggle in doorways. The stench is nauseating.

The story of St. Rita's leads locals here to voice the same frustrations they have about the entire disaster.

"Why didn't they evacuate?" Mr. Nunez asked. "Why?"
Why? Is this the plan for fixing the baby boom's retirement stresses? Are we going to be shoved onto a slab of ice and shoved out to sea? Fed to alligators? Used as dummies for bayonnet practice? The callus disregard for the elderly displayed by our government speaks volumes. Insignificant, useless, in the way, why bother saving anyone?

The frantic attempts of the staff who bravely and selflessly remained behind amazes me. These are the good people. The cannibals running America left them to die, too. These brave and good people who saved who they could risked their own lives to do this.

Why weren't they helped? Three school buses could have cleared out this nursing home. The staff could have driven them away. But no one came, no one bothered. No one who had the keys handed them over.

I have sat death watch. As the dying gasp for breath, they clutch for help and one sits there, gentle and kind, breathing alongside. When the hour of passage finally comes, they sigh, a long sigh, the word for spirit and the words for breathing are intertwined. To breathe is to live. Asians call this "ki". Japanese animators do many graphics of what drowning feels like. For Japan fears this, thanks to tsunamis and typhoons. They don't hide death.

And none of us should hide from these deaths. This is a signal moment in our history. The day we deliberately abandoned our most helpless people to die a terrible death. So we could have tax cuts. Just remember: not one thin penny passes through the Gates of Death!

Not one grain of gold.

The only thing allowed past are souls. Souls are our final breath. All our worldly goods remain stubbornly on the wrong side. Every dying person I have sat with wants two things: for their families to be safe and well and to undo any bad things they may have done in the past. I have heard astonishing confessions. It is an ancient part of watching over the Passage.

All the money our rulers are going to lavish upone themselves, witness the Cheneys buying a palatial residence this very week! Are meaningless when one goes through the Gates of Death.

And I will assert here, what waits there is one's conscience. The invisible watcher who sees everything and hears everything and dwells in the darkest corner of the mind. It waits there to rehash one's life. And not with the excuses, evasions and false lies.

For It never lies. It works for Lady Justice. The Blind One with the sword and scales! This is why one must show mercy and love in life. For this is what is set upon the scales. This has great weight. And the soul is but a feather. Light and dark, heavy and weightless.

May the gods help us all.

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